After SAP releasing Engineering Control Center 5.0 (ECTR), it completely changed the perception of the SAP and CAD integration. The enhanced user experience and configurable interface simplifies the way engineers work between CAD environment and SAP. Due to its seamless integration with diverse CAD tools it has now become the front face for a CAD and/or a DMS user.
It inherits some of the features from easy DMS and document browser like the folder structure and drag and drop which makes CAD engineer’s life much easy in their daily work. The seamless integration of ECTR with the Visual Enterprise (VE) doubles the benefits of an engineer. With the VE we are able to view, calibrate and generate the neutral format files which are used across an organization.
In this blog I would like to put together the ECTR capabilities and provide a brief overview of what it can do for a CAD/DMS user to help in improving the productivity.
Multi CAD system support
ECTR can integrate with diverse CAD systems. Currently it supports eight major CAD systems (SolidWorks, SolidEdge, NX, CATIA, CREO, AutoCAD, Inventor and MicroStation) and importantly it has consistent user interface (below toolbar) across all the eight tools.
Intuitive Interface for the CAD/DMS users.
As shown below it has multi view feature that helps to navigate, see the object details and more over visualize the originals right from the same window. Quick search and Queries provide a complete search capability for document and materials needed. With the help of Document structure view user would be able to see the document structure and word with assemblies.
Ability to drag and drop and transact, for instance you can assign a change number to a document, create object links between different objects just by drag and drop. It also inherits similar Folder structure from easy DMS and Document Browser and the public folder is shared with all the ECTR, easy DMS & Document Browser users.
Change numbers can be created/added supporting change management. Also it has an Inbox that helps in sending emails and receiving workflow notifications. Cloning feature helps in quickly creating a copy of existing document.
It covers several objects obviously including document, material, bill of material, change number and Classification data. You can also launch the new PLM Web UI (PLM 7.0) screens and SAP GUI right from the ECTR UI.
It also has links to create routing, check stock availability, create variant configuration etc., with the new service packs (add-ons) by launching SAP GUI.
One of the important scenarios of CAD integration is to be able to work with Assemblies. ECTR can import the assembly files and create document assemblies and also create the corresponding materials to create engineering bill of material right from the ECTR.
It is a big add-on to ECTR, using Visual Enterprise you are able to view the neutral format of the CAD file generated by the Visual Enterprise Generator (VEG) and this can be available for all the departments as a light weight viewable file. Using the embedded VE 3D Viewer you can also perform the Document Red-Lining right form ECTR and the changes are available in all other PLM DMS tools. You can also perform calibrations like getting measurements. Using its color coding you can also see the status of a document right from the viewer.
With all the above features ECTR is anticipated to be a game changer in CAD integration for SAP. Since the release of ECTR 5.0 SAP continued to add new features and hopefully it would add more and more features that would improvise the CAD integration abilities.